NHL’s Blogger Policy: Is There a Third Way Forward?

[Ed. note - For our readers looking for more photos of Ovechkin in a Speedo, feel free to skip over this one.]

For weeks a rumor has circulated that the NHL will set in place new media guidelines that effectively restrict bloggers from accessing the locker rooms of visiting teams. On Wednesday, AOL Fanhouse reported that the policy is now in place:

Starting this season, “bloggers” will only have access to the home locker room unless they make prior arrangements with the visiting team (and considering some of the positions taken by teams like Edmonton and the New York Rangers, that doesn’t sound like it’s going to be an easy proposition in some cases).

And now we’re back that seasonal debate pitting new media against old and recapitulating the NHL’s seemingly indefatigable ability to alienate its audience. The NHL is not just shutting out free publicity, it’s also pissing off that same free publicity.

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Scott Wilson during an incursion in Bet Lahia, Gaza Strip, after Israeli soldier Shalit's kidnapping. (Facebook, June 2006)

Scott Wilson takes notes in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli soldier's kidnapping in 2006 (via Facebook)

Two weeks have passed since Russian Machine Never Breaks implored President Obama to attend a Caps game and Barack The Red.  To say we’ve been floored by the reaction would be a total understatement. In the days since our plea, we’ve received nods from Puck Daddy, D.C. Sports Bog, On Frozen Blog, Homer McFanboy, DCist, LaVar Arrington, and even “Uncle” Ted Leonsis himself! Then, 1,244 people joined our Facebook Petition (join now if you haven’t yet),  including Japers Rink, Dmitry Chesnokov and the affable Caps Owner (yes, really)! But to be honest, we were all completely shocked last Friday afternoon, when Scott Wilson, White House Correspondent for The Washington Post, asked the President’s Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, for a response to our open letter.  Joke or not, my letter being read before the White House gaggle was the highlight of my career and a fitting testament to the obscene number of hours Blogadyte Ian Oland has put into site.

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